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Neil was remonstrating with fan and not having pop at Benitez.

Byline: Chris Waugh Sports Writer @CHRISDHWAUGH

ALEX Neil has played down the argument between the two benches at Carrow Road - and insists he did not deliberately celebrate Norwich City's second goal in front of the Newcastle United dugout.

The Scot did admit he and Rafa Benitez did not shake hands after the game, though, with Neil claiming his Spanish counterpart had already headed down the tunnel.

Rather than attempting to antagonise the Magpies bench during the Canaries' vital 3-2 win over United, Neil claims he was remonstrating with a disgruntled home supporter in the aftermath of Norwich's second goal.

"I didn't think there was really a war of words," Neil said of the incident.

"I think what happened was that, after we scored our second goal, once we had conceded a goal and it went 1-1, one of our fans was shouting at me, which I was not happy with.

"It was on the wrong side of the dugout (on Newcastle's side) so when we scored the second goal I turned round to him (the fan) - it wasn't anything to do with Newcastle. "I think they thought I was remonstrating in front of them, which was not the case - I would never do that.

"I think that what they (the Newcastle bench) did was give us that back for the equalising goal, which is fine but (my celebration was) absolutely nothing to do with Newcastle whatsoever." Although Neil and Benitez did not shake hands, the Norwich boss insists he has "absolutely no problems" with the Newcastle manager.

Both are desperate to win games of such magnitude, so emotions run high.

Neil added: "I went to (shake Benitez's hand) afterwards and I shook hands with the coaches who were remaining there but the bottom line is when you are a manager you want to win.

"You don't get to this stage and manage in the Premier League unless you are fiercely competitive and want to win games.

"He (Benitez) will be hurting at the moment and I havegot absolutely no problems with that (not shaking my hand)."

CAPTION(S):

Norwich manager Alex Neil

United boss Rafa Benitez

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 4, 2016
Words:356
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